Using a GPS Data Set to Examine the Effects of the Built Environment along Commuting Routes on Travel Outcomes
Although extensive research has investigated how the built environment near people’s homes and work places influence automobile travel behavior, little is known about how commuting routes affect travel outcomes. This article presents a methodology that addresses this question by examining the correlation between built environment along commuting routes and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and fuel consumption for nonwork automobile travel. Using a global positioning systems (GPS) data set collected from automobile trips of 46 drivers from the southeast Michigan area over a 30-day time frame, this study identifies the actual commuting routes for all drivers and derives their fuel consumption for nonwork travel. Although statistically significant relationships are not found between route environments and nonwork VMT and fuel consumption, this study is unique in its focus on the commuting routes and in establishing a methodology for using GPS data in transportation and land-use research, and it offers suggestions for refining the modeling of travel behavior along commuting routes.
Author: Joe Grengs
Co-authors: Xiaoguang Wang, Lidia Kostyniak
Publication: Journal of Urban Planning and Development
Published: December 2014